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Courtney, who lives near Preston, was feeling downhearted and experienced physical and mental health issues last year when she sought help from the Work and Health Programme.

At the time, the unemployed 21-year-old feared she would never find a suitable role and admitted she was very nervous about hunting for a job. As well as her lack of confidence, she had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following an upsetting experience some years previously. She wanted a role that would not involve standing for long periods of time.
Employment advisor Sara reassured Courtney that her previous experience as a support worker, for clients with mental health issues and children diagnosed with autism, would be a real bonus when applying for jobs that involved engaging with the public. After revamping her CV and receiving advice on her interview technique, Courtney successfully applied for a job. She was delighted to do her bit during the pandemic, working as a contact tracer to alert people who have been near to someone that has tested positive for COVID-19.
To say thank you, Courtney sent a short video message.

The support Courtney received resulted in much more than just a job – it also gave her a newfound confidence. This in turn has helped her take an exciting new step on her career path. In the video message to Sara, a smiling and upbeat Courtney explains that she is no longer working for the test and trace programme but is preparing to start a new job as a support worker.
She says: “I thought it’d be nice to send you a little video just so you can see where I am now… there is just such a difference in me and in the way that I carry myself.” She continues: “I just thought that you should see how much you’ve helped me because you gave me that push to get back on track with my life.”
Courtney goes on to say that she was “in a rut” last year when she first contacted the programme. “I couldn’t see a future for myself, I couldn’t see past where I was at that time and now… I can’t even begin to tell you the changes and the difference,” she says.

in partnership with Department for Work & Pensions